Holy C**P, a 65 Marlin!
November 22, 2012 7:20 PM   Subscribe

Have you imported a 16+ year old vehicle from the US to Canada (BC)? What was the experience like and roughly how much did it end up costing?

I'm considering flying down to Arizona; buying a vehicle; and then driving it home for either use or resale. I'd be buying something older than the 15 year cut off for exemption from meeting MVSS standards.

It looks like I should be able to:
  1. Buy road worthy car after confirming clean clear title
  2. Email the US border crossing I intend to cross into Canada making sure to attach a copy of the title.
  3. Drive to the US Border crossing arriving no sooner than 72 hours after email.
  4. Have the US Border agents stamp the title.
  5. Proceed to Canadian border crossing where I'll present the stamped title, bill of sale, and a certificate of insurance.
  6. Fill out Form 1 and pay fee (How much?)
  7. Pay GST, BC PST, and RIV Fee.
  8. Wait for form 2 to arive and then take that to RIV inspection centre.
  9. Have BC Safety inspection performed
  10. Take forms 1, 2, and safety inspection to ICBC. Pay registeration and licencing fees. Drive Car.
Is there a big gotcha lurking to cost me thousands of dollars and days of time?

Bonus Question: Where do I get a certificate of insurance for a car that hasn't been safety inspected in BC? Is it just a regular multi day permit? Or is it something I can buy in Arizona?
posted by Mitheral to Travel & Transportation (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
DRL. You may have to have the car modified for Daylight Running Lights. I am not sure of the sequence of events, whether you can pass inspection without them. YMMV
posted by Gungho at 6:21 AM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

It really depends on the exact make/model of the car.

If it wasn't manufactured within the NAFTA zone, you add import duty (e.g. ~6% for German cars).

Then you might have to get the car modified to meet Canadian safety standards, such as:
- DRLs
- Child seat anchors
- Metric dashboard

It's often not enough just to make the changes -- the manufacturer might have to certify that the changes meet government requirements. Canadian dealers have become wise to this game and started charging an arm and a leg for this.

You should do lots of research, googling will return a lot of info. The RedFlagDeals forums discuss this a lot. If your car is popular with enthusiasts then there is a likely a forum dedicated to it (e.g. Bimmerpost for BMWs) in which this forum will also have been discussed.

Finally, there are brokers who can handle this for you end-to-end. Drive along No. 3 Road in Richmond, BC and there are at least a half-dozen importing specialists. If you don't want to use them, you can just get a quote from them and then subtract $1000-2000 to estimate the cost of doing it yourself.
posted by wutangclan at 11:53 AM on November 23, 2012

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